This evening we begin a new journey through the book of Acts. Please join me in the reflections and think about out Acts as disciples of Jesus.
The book of Acts begins where the Gospels leave off, reporting the actions of the apostles and the work of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in Jerusalem, the Church is established and grows rapidly, it then faces intense persecution, which drives the believers out into the surrounding areas. Through this dispersion, Samaritans and Gentiles hear the Good News and believe.
Luke says that the disciples were eyewitnesses to all that had happened to Jesus Christ, his life before his crucifixion and the 40 days after his resurrection as he taught them more about the kingdom of God.
Today people still doubt Jesus’ resurrection. But Jesus appeared to the disciples on many occasions after his resurrection, proving he was alive. Consider the change Jesus’ resurrection made in the disciples’ lives. At his death, they scattered, became disillusioned, and feared for their lives. After seeing the resurrected Jesus, they became fearless and risked everything to spread the Good News about him around the world.
They faced imprisonment, beatings, rejection, and martyrdom, yet they never compromised their mission. These disciples would not have risked, and in some cases given their lives for something they knew was a fraud.
They knew Jesus was alive, and the early church was spurred by their enthusiasm to tell others. We need to know this, so we can have confidence in their testimony.
Twenty centuries later, we can still be confident because out faith is based on fact.
As you quieten yourself to pray, meditate on YOUR Acts. How are you spreading the Good News?